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Home » Confronting Your Financial Scar Tissue: Shannon Ryan (Transcript)

Confronting Your Financial Scar Tissue: Shannon Ryan (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of financial advisor Shannon Ryan’s talk titled “Confronting Your Financial Scar Tissue” at TEDxManhattanBeach 2022 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

The Impact of Financial Scar Tissue

As a certified financial planner, I have had the front row seat to the financial lives of hundreds of individuals and families. What I have learned is that we all carry financial trauma from our past. I call it financial scar tissue. And it impacts our decisions every day.

In our bodies, scar tissue remains long after a wound has healed. And the same is true for financial wounds. What are financial wounds? Well, they come in a lot of different forms.

It could be remembering your parents arguing over bills, losing your job, a divorce, experiencing a bankruptcy, living through a recession, being hungry, not having the cool clothes or the cool shoes to fit in, or just wanting something or an experience so badly but not having the resources for it. These invisible wounds define our many thoughts.

And then they create behavior patterns in our lives that actually stop us from achieving our financial goals and, more importantly, financial satisfaction. True financial success comes when we can first identify what has caused this financial scar tissue and then understand how it is impacting our daily recurring financial decisions.

David’s Story

Early in my career, I did a financial planning meeting with a man named David. He was 32 at the time. And when he came into my office, he said that his number one goal was retirement planning. And then he told me why.

His parents, they were retired, living solely off of Social Security and, frankly, having a really tough time making ends meet. He said that they had once dreamt of retirement travel, but today watched news and Netflix and just stayed home. And in David’s words, “waiting to die.” David wanted a different life for himself, but he knew he’d have to start early.

And he’d done a good job. As I went through all of his paperwork, he had a cash reserve, he had paid off all debt, and he had $60,000 in his 401K. We went through a planning process, created a cash flow plan with an eye towards retirement. About six months after that initial planning meeting, I gave David a call.

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